Thomas O. Branford has announced his campaign to be re-elected to the Lincoln County Circuit Court, Position #3. Judge Branford has served this county as a Judge for more than 29 years, first 7 years as a District Judge and then as a Circuit Judge for the last 22 years. On three occasions, the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court has chosen Judge Branford to be the Presiding Judge. That position is responsible to manage the 17th Judicial District, consisting of three elected Circuit Judges, one Circuit Judge Pro-Tem, the Trial Court Administrator, and more than twenty support staff members.
About 75% of the Circuit Court docket consists of criminal cases, while civil cases comprise about 25%. According to statistics compiled by the State Court Administrator in Salem, civil cases in Lincoln County are being handled very effectively. The State has established goals for timely disposition of cases, and local civil cases are within 2% of those statewide goals. The sheer volume and complexity of criminal cases has left the county short of the statewide timeliness goals for criminal cases, Branford says, despite long weekdays and dedicated work on the weekend by the three elected Judges. Timeliness goals are important, says Branford, but not as important as the quality of the judicial decisions or how litigants and attorneys are treated by the Judge.
Judge Branford reports that he has been honored and privileged to serve this county as a Judge and looks forward to continuing to do so.
“It is rewarding and enriching to help people during stressful and troublesome times in their lives,” he says. Branford is dedicated to equal access to justice and to protecting the constitutional rights of both people charged with crimes and with crime victims. Branford pledges to continue to preside with integrity, compassion and dedication.